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Old 4th October 2021, 02:47   #1
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Default Recommendation for a good CVT Automatic | Budget of 12-lakhs

I have been driving my Honda City 3rd Gen for the last 12 yrs. I was happily driving it on the wide open roads of Pune Suburbs and had no intention of letting go of it even after such a long time.

However 2 months back, I relocated to Hyderabad and instantly the traffic situation changed. Big traffic jams near my place is common due to Flyover construction. Since I am not used to driving in so much traffic, I feel the need for an automatic. Also due to the low ground clearance of my city, it always touches the bumper near my home whenever more than 2 people sit in the car. Hence, I am making up my mind to sell my City for a CVT.

Till now I haven't started looking into options. But some of the must have features I would like are below:

1. Must be a minimum 4 star rating
2. Good amount of boot space
3. Wide enough to sit 3 passengers at the back
4. High ground clearance due to high bumpers near my home
4. Reliable after sales service
5. Should not lag or feel lazy on highways

My budget is around ₹12 lakhs. My monthly run is less than 1000 kms so would go for petrol option. The cars which came to my mind are below:

1. Renault Kiger CVT: My dad owns the Kwid in Delhi and I find the car very practical to use in the City for daily usage. Kiger looks quite good and very practical. I just love Renault for its practicality aspect. Besides, the Xtronic CVT of Renault-Nissan is one of the best CVTs out there. Though I would have preferred some of the missing features in the same.

2. Honda Jazz CVT: Although its ground clearance is low but I love Honda for its smooth engine and reliability. My 12 yrs of fuss free ownership also helps putting it in my list.

3. Nissan Magnite CVT: It has some more features than the Kiger but long waiting time is a bit of bother. Still I would want to check it out.

Till now I have thought of these 3 only. There is one more car which I would like to look into before making a decision. That would be the Astor CVT. Although it might stretch my budget to ₹15 lacs or more but I think it would be a great upgrade on my Honda City. I am waiting for its prices to be announced before making any decision.

Any other recommendations please suggest the same??
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Old 4th October 2021, 07:16   #2
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Default re: Recommendation for a good CVT Automatic | Budget of 12-lakhs

Any specific reason to not include torque converter automatics in your list?

From my experience, a torque converter feels better suited to city conditions than a CVT. The cars you are considering are fine but none of them can be a good upgrade to your 3rd gen City, especially from performance point of view.

I'd suggest to TD Brezza automatic once. Good safety record, decent ground clearance, relaxed NA engine, fuss free maintenance and a spacious third row.

PS. High chances that the Brezza's plastics will disappoint you. In that case, skip it and check out S-Cross.

Last edited by self_driven : 4th October 2021 at 07:19.
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Old 4th October 2021, 07:24   #3
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Default re: Recommendation for a good CVT Automatic | Budget of 12-lakhs

I have a gating question which will be useful for you to clarify up front for everyone’s benefit. Do you mean you are looking for a car with an “automatic” transmission or specifically a “CVT automatic” transmission. If its the latter, any particular reason you don’t want other types like for instance a Torque Converter. Some people may want to avoid AMTs and similar tech because they don’t have the smoothness of a “proper” automatic. Others may want to avoid DSG / DCT or similar tech because they have proven to be problematic. But generally between CVT and torque converters (TC), they are both usually equally acceptable.

With that out of the way, a few comments:

Some of your requirements will severely narrow down other options. In the sub 15 lakh bracket to get a car comfortable for 3 at the back, AND with a biggish boot (I am taking your frame of reference as the class leading 500 ltrs of the City) AND a 5 star rating - you are going to have to compromise somewhere or the other. You might find some of these options tipping over in the 15-20L range - not sure if that is acceptable. While Renault Kroger and Nissan Magnite are great products, their after sales could be a hit or miss.

I am going to suggest a few quality used options too for this reason.

Astor: Since you asked about this. On paper looks like a very compelling product. The turbo petrol TC automatic should be the pick of the engine although you could consider the CVT as well. It’s going to fall short on your rear space and boot space requirements though if your benchmark is the City.

Used BR-V: This is potentially a superb option. It should be available for WELL within your budget - perhaps you can see if you can get a less than 2 - 3 year used option. It will be very spacious, great ground clearance, great boot space and comes with a convenient automatic. After sales experience should be reasonably predicable with Honda. This might actually be what meets your requirements the closest (I am not aware of its NCAP rating).

Skoda Rapid: Trips up the reliability criteria but in the above options this might be the second closest option to tick the boxes for you. It will feel right up there with the City, will likely not bottom out as much because it has a stiffer tuned suspension - great boot, proper 5 seater, the relatively safer TC automatic rather than Skoda DSG which can be a bother. Only down side is its long in the tooth and will soon be replaced by an all new version sometime next year.

Creta / Seltos: Whichever regular automatic in their range comes within your bill. This should tick all the boxes you mentioned other than the one on safety rating. Drive it and take a call maybe.

Latest or nearly new City CVT: I’d say don’t rule out this very obvious option either. It’s an extremely capable car and has incrementally only gotten better with every generation. Barring the ground clearance aspect this will tick EVERY box for you and should ideally be right up there in your options list.

Last edited by Axe77 : 4th October 2021 at 07:27.
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Old 4th October 2021, 10:10   #4
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Default Re: Recommendation for a good CVT

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Originally Posted by self_driven View Post
Any specific reason to not include torque converter automatics in your list?

From my experience, a torque converter feels better suited to city conditions than a CVT. The cars you are considering are fine but none of them can be a good upgrade to your 3rd gen City, especially from performance point of view.

I'd suggest to TD Brezza automatic once. Good safety record, decent ground clearance, relaxed NA engine, fuss free maintenance and a spacious third row.

PS. High chances that the Brezza's plastics will disappoint you. In that case, skip it and check out S-Cross.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
I have a gating question which will be useful for you to clarify up front for everyone’s benefit. Do you mean you are looking for a car with an “automatic” transmission or specifically a “CVT automatic” transmission. If its the latter, any particular reason you don’t want other types like for instance a Torque Converter. Some people may want to avoid AMTs and similar tech because they don’t have the smoothness of a “proper” automatic. Others may want to avoid DSG / DCT or similar tech because they have proven to be problematic. But generally between CVT and torque converters (TC), they are both usually equally acceptable.
To answer the first question why I am not looking for Torque Converters, my understanding is CVTs usually gives a good balance between mileage and performance. Looking at the high prices of petrol (which keeps rising), mileage will be an important factor as well.

My wife don't want to buy a used car. Even I would want a new car only

Although I have been using City for 12 yrs, but its not a benchmark for me since now my requirements have changed. My 90% driving is going to happen in City hence I would like to get an Automatic which gives good mileage in city driving conditions. I will check out how much mileage TCs give out in city conditions. Even mild hybrids should be good then will consider Scross, XL6 and Brezza as well.

I am ok with bootspace of 350-400 lts since I have hardly used more than that even in my City. Its sufficient for our family of 3 even if we go for any outstation trips and also airport trips for my parents or in laws.

One of my friend suggested me not to sell my City since it is still in good condition and buy a small EV for daily drive which might be coming next year. Like eKUV100 or PunchEV, maybe the AltrozEV. Apart from AltrozEV, the other ones should be below ₹10 lakhs. That way I can keep my City for Outstation Trips and use the EV for daily city commutes. Honestly speaking it's not a bad idea. I might have to jack up the suspension on my City so that there is a lesser chance of scraping the underbelly on big speed breakers. Would have to talk to Honda Service Centre regarding the same. This way I would be saving a lot on the petrol bills. Only issue would be that I will have to keep my City outside my society since the charging setup will have to be done in my parking. But it should be OK I suppose.

Do you guys thing its a good idea?,Should I keep my City and go for a small EV or should I sell my city and go for an automatic altogether? I don't think my 12 yrs old City will give me more than ₹2 lakhs resale value.

Last edited by souvikjana83 : 4th October 2021 at 10:23.
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Old 4th October 2021, 10:47   #5
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Default Re: Recommendation for a good CVT Automatic | Budget of 12-lakhs

Its a very tricky scenario here.
Well for the budget you have most of the cars wont be like 'upgrades' from your existing City (which is eventually a C segment car and today C segment automatics cost 12+).

Few things I would mention about Nissan/Renault siblings.
1. They dont have that build to last feel. They will always make you feel like made on budget cars. Especially after owning the 3rd gen City for this long.
2. Refinement can be a big setback here. 3 cylinder engines + CVT whine (prominent here) is something that can be annoying.
3. Space+performance+features+GC = they are strong points.


Now the upgrade from 3rd gen City to Jazz
1. 1.2 vs 1.5. Jazz's low end performance is bit weak. Especially in start stop traffic (0-40 kmph) you will feel the lethargy.
2. Jazz's space management is excellent but the rear seat is a bench in literal terms. It is acceptable for hatchbacks but the contour and feel of City's rear seat wont be there. Yes it can have 3 at back with reasonable comfort.
3. Jazz's CVT is very smooth. Better than 3rd gen City's TC.
4. GC will be better.
5. Ride quality is better.
6. F.E. despite the CVT thing wont be great. Expect 10-12 in urban traffic at best.


My suggestion would be the Maruti S-Cross auto.
1. G.C. is a strong point.
2. 1.5 litre engine is responsive.
3. Good comfort level. Build quality is better than most Marutis
4. 4 speed T.C. is good for city. (Btw City 3rd gen is also TC)
5. Fuel economy will be good.
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Old 4th October 2021, 10:48   #6
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Default Re: Recommendation for a good CVT Automatic | Budget of 12-lakhs

I would recommend the Kiger/Magnite CVTs over the Jazz.

The Jazz is a bit old-in-the-tooth now, and it's 1.2L Petrol with CVT is just too underwhelming.
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Old 4th October 2021, 10:49   #7
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Default Re: Recommendation for a good CVT Automatic | Budget of 12-lakhs

Look no further than the S-Cross. I drove one the other day and was left shocked at why it does not sell more. Too many folk pretending they need more power I guess. Car did not feel powerful but definitely felt adequate and though several reviewers complained about the old gearbox, I found it to function well and shift smoothly. The best part about the car is the airy cabin and perfect ride/handling characteristics.
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Old 4th October 2021, 10:55   #8
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Default Re: Recommendation for a good CVT

Quote:
Originally Posted by souvikjana83 View Post

One of my friend suggested me not to sell my City since it is still in good condition and buy a small EV for daily drive which might be coming next year.

Do you guys thing its a good idea? Should I keep my City and go for a small EV or should I sell my city and go for an automatic altogether? I don't think my 12 yrs old City will give me more than ₹2 lakhs resale value.
This is exactly what was going in my mind as well as I read the earlier part of your post and then read your friend's suggestion - fully agree with him. I suggest keep the City as option value for those occasional long distance trips or airport runs where you really need the plus size boot. It should be simple to maintain a manual city till its end of life. Anyway it'll be an occasionally run car.

My suggestion on the EV is go for the Nexon EV or alternately the Altroz EV. Don't go for an EV below that and compromise the experience. If there is an option between variants, try and choose the one that gives you maximum range. This car will definitely outlive the residuary life of your City and you would ideally like to keep it as flexible as possible in terms of its range capabilities. I also feel there is a big premium-ness jump the moment you step up to the Altroz / Nexon segment from everything below that. Go for this and you will have the best of all worlds - economy, ground clearance (specially with Nexon) and fun to drive quotient.
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Old 4th October 2021, 10:58   #9
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Default Re: Recommendation for a good CVT Automatic | Budget of 12-lakhs

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Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
Look no further than the S-Cross. I drove one the other day and was left shocked at why it does not sell more. Too many folk pretending they need more power I guess. Car did not feel powerful but definitely felt adequate and though several reviewers complained about the old gearbox, I found it to function well and shift smoothly. The best part about the car is the airy cabin and perfect ride/handling characteristics.
+1 to this choice. Of late I'm seeing more SCross on roads. People have started to appreciate this full fledged cross over against other sub 4m cars. This car indeed is a great buy at that price.
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Old 4th October 2021, 11:42   #10
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Default Re: Recommendation for a good CVT

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Originally Posted by souvikjana83 View Post
To answer the first question why I am not looking for Torque Converters, my understanding is CVTs usually gives a good balance between mileage and performance. Looking at the high prices of petrol (which keeps rising), mileage will be an important factor as well.
If fuel economy is the only criteria, then you should choose turbo petrols. When driven normally, turbo petrols (any AT type) give better fuel economy than naturally aspirated engine + CVT transmission combo. The above statement of mine comes from comparing fuel economy of two cars in my garage -> Honda BRV (1.5 NA + CVT) and Hyundai Venue (1.0 turbo + DCT). Note that both these cars have the same kerb weight and engine power output - so it is a reasonable comparison.

You can also compare ARAI fuel economy of different cars. Don't look at the absolute number, but look at percentage difference instead. For example:

Honda Jazz CVT ARAI fuel economy: 17.1 kmpl
Renault Kiger CVT ARAI fuel economy: 18.5 kmpl

So in the real world, Renault Kiger is likely to be 10% more fuel efficient than Honda Jazz. That is, if Honda Jazz 1.2 NA CVT gives 10 kmpl under city conditions, Renault Kiger 1.0 Turbo CVT is likely to give 11 kmpl under similar conditions.

Last edited by SmartCat : 4th October 2021 at 11:53.
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Old 4th October 2021, 14:21   #11
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Default Re: Recommendation for a good CVT

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This is exactly what was going in my mind as well as I read the earlier part of your post and then read your friend's suggestion - fully agree with him. I suggest keep the City as option value for those occasional long distance trips or airport runs where you really need the plus size boot. It should be simple to maintain a manual city till its end of life. Anyway it'll be an occasionally run car.

My suggestion on the EV is go for the Nexon EV or alternately the Altroz EV. Don't go for an EV below that and compromise the experience. If there is an option between variants, try and choose the one that gives you maximum range. This car will definitely outlive the residuary life of your City and you would ideally like to keep it as flexible as possible in terms of its range capabilities. I also feel there is a big premium-ness jump the moment you step up to the Altroz / Nexon segment from everything below that. Go for this and you will have the best of all worlds - economy, ground clearance (specially with Nexon) and fun to drive quotient.
But Nexon EV on road cost 17 lakhs which is way out of my budget and I would then have to sell my Honda City as well. I don't want to drive EVs on highways since I am not ready to spend 30 mins or more on charging EVs and also carry wires, spindles and other charging equipments for all kind of scenarios. The Altroz EV if it gives more than 350 kms real world range and cost below ₹10 lakhs can then be considered for Highway by me.

I booked Kiger Test Drive. The SA called me immediately. He was prompt and knowledgeable. I test drove the car and really like the drive. I didn't feel that many quality issues in the car. It felt easy in the city traffic as well felt planted at speeds around 70. I also didn't feel any lag or CVT rubber band effect as well. Given my dad already has a Kwid, the salesperson has given me quite a good amount of Loyalty Bonus along with 5 yrs warranty, 5 yrs AMC and 5 yrs Roadside Assistance with 10% discount on Accessories. Corporate Discount of ₹8000. Overall close to ₹40-50k discount.

I have booked the test drive of S Cross as well as recommended by many people here. Didn't get any call yet. Will go to showroom if they don't call or come.

Yet to book test drive of Magnite CVT and I assume the drive would be similar. Will update the thread.

Last edited by vb-san : 4th October 2021 at 17:03. Reason: typo
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Old 4th October 2021, 14:41   #12
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Default Re: Recommendation for a good CVT

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But Nexon EV on road cost 17 lakhs which is way out of my budget and I would then have to sell my Honda City as well.

The Altroz EV if it gives more than 350 kms real world range and cost below ₹10 lakhs can then be considered for Highway by me.
.
Sorry for some reason I had mistaken your budget to be up to 15 lakh. I misunderstood. I am not sure even the Altroz would fit within 10 lakh although I think the middle variant of Nexon and top variant of Altroz may fit inside 14 - 15 lakh maybe.

I think if youíre going for EV, no point going below these two. If needed you could even defer the purchase to increase the budget but on the EV front I would suggest stick to either of these.

Alternately please do proceed with Kriger / Magnite etc. They should be good vfm offerings in that segment.
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Old 4th October 2021, 15:04   #13
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Default Re: Recommendation for a good CVT

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Sorry for some reason I had mistaken your budget to be up to 15 lakh. I misunderstood. I am not sure even the Altroz would fit within 10 lakh although I think the middle variant of Nexon and top variant of Altroz may fit inside 14 - 15 lakh maybe.

I think if you’re going for EV, no point going below these two. If needed you could even defer the purchase to increase the budget but on the EV front I would suggest stick to either of these.

Alternately please do proceed with Kriger / Magnite etc. They should be good vfm offerings in that segment.
Yes I got a quotation of ₹11.5 lakhs for RXZ CVT which is within my budget for now. I am dropping Jazz CVT from my list since I feel Kiger to be better equipped than Jazz. Next will check Magnite and S Cross.

Only if I feel Astor to be a very good car to be a good upgrade on my Honda City, then I would look to increase my budget to ₹15 lakhs for the Astor CVT. I would probably wait some time before purchase to save the additional ₹3 lakhs.

Last edited by souvikjana83 : 4th October 2021 at 15:06.
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Old 7th October 2021, 08:59   #14
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Default Re: Recommendation for a good CVT Automatic | Budget of 12-lakhs

I would say wait for the Astor’s prices to be revealed, I’ve checked that thing out twice and it does look quite promising. And MG in all probability (according to me) will price it super competitively as they don’t wanna kill their hector. Also, the 5th Gen city has adequate ground clearance, and since you’ve had a very good ownership experience with your current city, do not ignore the 5th Gen city due to just the ground clearance, it’s a niche product I feel. Do check it out and test drive it and then decide.
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Old 7th October 2021, 10:41   #15
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Default Re: Recommendation for a good CVT Automatic | Budget of 12-lakhs

Did you try the Renault Triber? It is 4-star rated, comes with a big boot (630 litres), reasonable GC, is good for 5 and well within your budget. They do have the automatic version (AMT) and I personally believe it's more of getting used to the dynamics of how AMTís work. It should give a decent mileage and the top end comes with all the bells and whistles.
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